The Economic Community of West African States last Saturday upheld the sanctions imposed on the three junta-ruled nations— Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
At the 47th ECOWAS summit held in Ghana to determine whether to ease or ramp up sanctions against those three nations, Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who opened the summit, said the summit was to “re-examine and assess the situations in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso in light of recent developments within the region and global context.”
“Our objective has always been to find ways to help these countries return to constitutional order.”
Guinea, Burkina Faso and Mali are currently suspended from ECOWAS.
In a Communique issued at the end of the Summit, the bloc commended security efforts made by Burkina Faso despite numerous challenges “in recovering some localities thus leading to the return of some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the reopening of some schools.”
The ECOWAS Authority, according to the statement encouraged the Transition Authorities to sustain the momentum towards further enhancing security in the country.
“On the humanitarian front, the Authority expresses serious concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation compared to the situation noted by the previous ECOWAS mission in the country in April 2022. It calls on the International Community to strengthen its humanitarian support to Burkina Faso.”
The regional bloc welcomed the decision of the Burkina Faso junta to allow former President Kaboré to return to his home but insisted that he was given full freedom.
The Authority expressed its concern about the duration of the transition period set at 36 months by the Burkinabe Authorities as stated in its Communiqué issued on 25 March 2022. The ECOWAS, therefore, demanded the finalisation of an acceptable transition timetable.
On Guinea, the Authority expressed concern over the deteriorating socio-political situation, “due to the lack of an appropriate dialogue framework between the government and the political stakeholders and civil society actors.”
The ECOWAS leaders commended the efforts made by the ECOWAS Mediator to reach an acceptable timetable that would ensure Mali’s quick return to constitutional order.
Despite the positive progress in Mali, the Authority upheld the sanctions imposed on 9th January 2022, while it continued to dialogue to reach an agreement to ensure a gradual lifting of the sanctions.
The Authority stated it would re-examine the situation in Mali at its next Ordinary Summit on July 3, 2022.
Present at the Summit were President Patrice Talon, Republic of Benin; President Alassane Ouattara, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire; President Adama Barrow, Republic of The Gambia; President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Republic of Ghana; President Umaro Sissoco Embalo, Republic of Guinea Bissau; President George Weah, Republic of Liberia; and President Mohamed Bazoum, Republic of Niger.
Others include President Muhammadu Buhari, Federal Republic of Nigeria; President Macky Sall, Republic of Senegal; President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, Togolese Republic; Belarmino Monteiro Silva, Ambassador of Cabo Verde to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; Frances Virginia Anderson, High Commissioner of the Republic of Sierra Leone to Ghana.
Also in attendance were H.E. Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, ECOWAS Mediator for Mali, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, President, African Union Commission. Mr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President, ECOWAS Commission; Mr Abdoulaye Diop, President, UEMOA Commission; Mr Mahamat Saleh Annadif, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS); Mr El Ghassim Wane, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Mali and Head of MINUSMA.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD